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Courses in Media and Digital Freedom in Africa

Status: Closed

  • Training & education

Organisation: Namibia Media Trust

Deadline: 16/10/2023

Location: Online

The Namibia Media Trust has partnered with the University of Stellenbosch to provide an online course aimed at enhancing journalism practice. 

They are also inviting educators, parliamentarians, and civil society representatives to join them in this initiative, fostering interaction with journalists across the continent.

The commitment is about 3-5 hours a week, self-paced. There are two courses in the programme – each one taking four weeks. It’s free, and for those who want a prestigious professional certificate from the University the cost is an affordable $99 dollars for each part.

What you’ll get from taking part is:

  • Expert knowledge about disinformation and other current issues in media and digital freedom in Africa
  • Insight into strategies to address the challenges to media viability in the age of AI
  • Understanding – through case studies – of how people have successfully made change.

The programme goes live on 16 October.

You can register immediately here.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

Course 1: Freedom of expression in the African media and digital policy landscape

Week 1: Free expression, access to information and media freedom:

  • Freedom of expression as a two-sided right.
  • A tool to check whether restrictions on freedom of expression are justifiable.
  • The interrelation of international agreements and national law.

Week 2: Media independence, safety, pluralism and diversity:

  • Criteria for the independence of media.
  • Standards of professional journalism.
  • Safety of journalists and media.
  • Pluralism and diversity in the media.
  • Different types of media.
  • Gender diversity in the media.

Week 3: The internet and freedom of expression

  • Universal access to the internet.
  • Government interference with internet access.
  • Surveillance and cybercrime legislation.
  • The challenge of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • Disinformation and how to combat it.
  • How to protect the integrity of online expression.

Week 4: Effective civil society engagement in support of democratic media policy:

  • The role of civil society.
  • Formal and informal channels of civil society engagement.
  • Getting a handle on law reform.
  • Civil society may be undermined.

Course 2 (as from 13 November): Governance and regulation, access to information and media viability

Week 1: Media regulation and democracy

  • The purpose of regulation in all its forms
  • Mechanisms of regulation
  • Statutory control of regulation
  • Regulation of internet companies
  • UNESCO and platform regulation
  • Dissecting the DSA
  • Regulation of AI
  • Encryption

Week 2: Access to information and democracy

  • What is the right to information and why does it matter?
  • Principles of good access to information legislation
  • Legitimate limitations to the right to information
  • The role of media and CSOs

Week 3: Media viability

  • Introduction, issues and concepts
  • Direct and indirect subsidies
  • Government advertising
  • Online income and the platform giants
  • New business models

Week 4: Understanding civil society campaigns

  • Understanding the system
  • Consolidating knowledge
  • Anatomy of a campaign
  • In more depth: identifying problems and opportunities
  • Going to the courts
  • Countries accounting internationally
  • Monitoring and evaluating campaigns

Learn more here and register.

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